I’m not the best athlete in the world but, as a kid, I was always pretty decent at baseball. I was primarily a catcher and a first baseman, and an occasional pitcher. I had a good eye, decent speed, a good arm, but not a ton of power (I hit one in home run in all my years playing little league).
But, I was a monster in the clutch. I remember one game, it was a game we had to win in order to advance to the playoffs. We were down 8-2 in the bottom of the 7th inning- the last inning in little league. We clawed and clawed and clawed our way back and then, with two outs and the bases loaded, score tied, it was my turn to bat.
I worked the count full and the, I saw my pitch and crushed it past the short stop to bring home the winning run. I remember running to first base, leaping onto the bag, and throwing my helmet in the air. We had won the game and I had the winning hit.
But, here I am now, more than twenty years later. Surely, those days are behind me. I’m creeping towards the forty mark, my gut is slowly growing, I’m a little slower and my body creaks when I move. But, thanks to the Northwest Independent Baseball League (amongst others), I now have the opportunity to relive my former glory with peers, facing the same physical hurdles that I face.
It’s no gimme; you have to try out and prove yourself. You have to show that you’re worthy of a roster spot, but, once you make the team, you can enjoy a summer of baseball games and practices. Make new friends, get some exercise and pretend, if only for a few hours, that you are a kid again, dreaming of Major League Glory.
From Vancouver on down to Salem, take the field on the same fields were minor league and college stars play. With several leagues catering to all different ages and skillsets, and dozens of teams in each, the odds of finding a team that matches your skill set is high. Try outs are typically in March, so, while it’s too late to get on board this year, you can start practicing now for next year. Practice makes perfect and, for a couple of hundred bucks in league fees and equipment, you can have a summer of running and diving in the grass. You know, a summer like you probably had twenty or thirty years ago.
A quick Google search for Portland Adult Baseball leagues should get you all of the information that you need. I’ll see you on the field next summer!